The latest survey of research institute Charta Politika Indonesia indicates that only three Indonesian political parties can rely on enough popular support to win the legislative election that will be held on 9 April 2014. These three parties are PDI Perjuangan (PDI-P), Golkar and Gerindra. Other parties will not have a chance to win the election based on the survey that was conducted in March 2014. Results of the March survey confirmed that these three parties' popularity grew markedly from the institute's December 2013 survey.
The PDI-P, led by Megawati Sukarnoputri, saw its popularity rise from 15.8 percent of the respondents' votes in December 2013 to 21.2 percent in March 2014. Two weeks ago, Megawati Sukarnoputri declared that Joko Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) is the party's presidential candidate for Indonesia's July 2014 presidential election. Jokowi, currently Governor of Jakarta, enjoys high popularity in Indonesia.
Golkar, which used to be the political vehicle of Suharto, also gained popularity compared to the December 2013 survey. Based on the March 2014 survey, 16.4 percent of respondents will vote for Golkar (up from 12.6 percent in December). Although Golkar remains one of the largest political parties in Indonesia (due to its well development infrastructure across Indonesia), its nomination of current Chairman Aburizal Bakrie as the party's presidential candidate is highly controversial. Bakrie is one of the richest Indonesian businessmen and several of his companies have been linked to corruption cases and other scandals (for example the Sidoarjo mud flow).
The third party, Gerindra, is the youngest of the big three (founded in 2008). The party is the political vehicle of Prabowo Subianto, former special forces commander and former son-in-law of Suharto. In the 2009 legislative election the party won 4.5 percent of the vote. Based on the March 2014 survey of Charta Politika Indonesia, it should win 12 percent of the vote in the 2014 election (up from 7.8 percent in the December survey). Subianto fosters ambition to become the next president of Indonesia. However, he has been linked to human rights abuses in the late 1990s against Indonesian students who called for the resignation of Suharto. Despite these human rights abuses as well as his proximity to the highly corrupt Suharto government, he enjoys popularity as presidential candidate because he is regarded as a strong leader. Many Indonesians feel that Indonesia today lacks a strong leader who can push for higher economic growth and curtail corruption.
The survey also confirms that the popularity of incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party has declined dramatically due to several corruption cases that emerged within the party in recent years.
It is worth noting that the three parties (PDI-P, Golkar and Gerindra) all support the principals of democracy and pluralism (thus do not aim for a stricter form of Islam).